Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Road To My Homestead

As much as I loved living at that home, it was not our own property. It was just off the interstate highway 88, which is the highway that goes straight up to Albany, New York, and is traveled very heavily. We were out in the country, but always was that constant noise of the highway. At night, you never had the peacefulness that I craved. Big trucks traveling on the highway late at night.

When we found our property and moved here, I would be lying to say I was not a little nervous. My husband worked at that time at a fork-lift manufacturer in a nearby town, but on the night shift. Here I was going to be living in the middle of thousands of acres of state forest with no nearby neighbors. At first, we did not even have a telephone. I have not always been the bravest person, so this was going to be a whole new experience for me.

This house was completely surrounded by the state forest. And I mean it came right up to a little tiny yard. When we were outside, the forest was right there. My husband had to completely clear the land for gardening and for our horses. Though at the time, we did not own horses, we always knew we'd get some. So we needed a paddock area as well as a barn.

We had bought a Sun-Mar composting toilet before we moved here as we knew it only had a outhouse. Also our cast iron bath tub, we bought at a little junk shop, and I still love that as much as when we first found it. I was preparing before we moved to have all the things we needed. I thought it would be difficult making the transition to living without electricity, but it really wasn't that difficult.

When we first moved in, we used a 1920 gas stove that I picked up in an antique shop. We would buy the gas tanks used for gas grills and that was what we used for the gas refrigerator (that came with the house) and the stove for cooking. We already had the wood cookstove, but we never did hook it up till two years later! It just sat in the kitchen unused. We just could not afford the chimney piping for it at that time.

The house already had a wood heating stove, which was huge compared to any I have ever seen or even since. I never see one this big even in stores. But the chimney they had it hooked up to could have never been used for it. So we don't really know what they did for heat. This was a deer camp and was used in cold weather. My husband thinks they just brought kerosene heaters with them when they came here.

We had to buy all new stove pipe and triple wall for it. My husband had to cut a whole in the ceiling to the upstairs and one up through to the roof. Then he installed it so it went right through the bedroom from downstairs. The upstairs is usually warm and cozy.My husband changed jobs not long after we moved there and was hired to train horses at a local horse facility where they raised horses for horse racing. So he wasn't gone at night after that. And most days, I could go to work with him if I wanted to. This was when I began my love affair with horses!

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